Dad reveals 58-day battle with deadly virus in hospital

11th Jul 2020

A dad-of-two has thanked staff at a West Bromwich hospital for saving his life after he battled coronavirus for 58 days.

The family of Jonathan Yague described his recovery as a “miracle”, as he was finally discharged from Sandwell Hospital on 2 June.

He said: “I am so grateful for the care and the quick-thinking of staff working at Sandwell Hospital. Their actions most definitely saved my life. They assessed that I needed ventilation as my condition was rapidly deteriorating and then liaised with staff at Glenfields Hospital in Leicester, to ensure I was transferred there quickly and safely.

“The last thing I remember is being intubated at Sandwell on 6 April. I was put into an induced coma, and finally woke up on 18 May. I asked the nurse what date it was and when she told me, the realisation of what had happened kicked in. I just cried.

“Maria has been filling in the gaps for me about what happened, but I remember how I was unable to breathe.”

The 48-year-old, whose wife Maria works as a sister at Sandwell Hospital, quickly deteriorated despite having no underlying conditions.

Seven days later he was transferred to Glenfields, where some of the sickest coronavirus patients are treated using a specialist Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine. Maria was told his prognosis looked bleak.

“I prayed day and night that he would get better,” she recalled. “At the same time I also had coronavirus as did our eldest child. We weren’t hospitalised but it was just a horrendous situation.”


Within a month, in what Maria describes as a miracle, Jonathan’s condition started to improve.

He was transferred back to Sandwell Hospital’s critical care unit on 6 May where he continued to recover.

Jonathan, a senior nursing manager for a private healthcare company, was finally moved out of critical care on 23 May and was discharged a few days later.

He added: “I am so glad to be home, but I am still recovering and trying to regain my strength. I am learning to walk again as I lost a lot of muscle mass. I am still short of breath but I am getting better.

“I am forever indebted to those who have cared for me throughout this terrible ordeal. And I am thankful to be alive and be with my precious family.”

But he had a warning for those people considering breaking social distancing rules: “I’ve suffered terribly. I had multi-organ failure, and was bleeding through my mouth and nose – I was close to death. When I see people ignoring social distancing measures it makes me cringe – I can’t believe the photographs I’ve seen of crowded beaches.

 “I fear there will be a second wave which will be much worse than what we have experienced so far. People really need to think about what they are doing and maintain social distancing. Whether that’s when they are visiting their local supermarket, going to a park or even popping out to see a relative. I hope that my story will make people think about what they are doing in order to protect others from this virus.”

Back to News Stories